May 6, 2015
Amidst the bombast of Avengers: Age of Ultron is a quiet, intriguing conversation that pits two visions of humanity against each other.
Josh, I share your sentiment that this film came off flat. After the first Avengers, and with all the intervening movies supposedly feeding into this one, I admit I expected more. Your comment the Joss Whedon seemed to struggle to hold the score with all the characters confirms my feeling that in several instances I did not understand how certain characters suddenly appeared where they were, or why. It felt like the film skipped ahead a few times. Captain America, the leader of the Avengers, did very little that was especially interesting throughout. He smashed a lot of robots...that's pretty much it. I also struggled with Ultron, David Spader's excellent performance notwithstanding. To be sure, Loki as a villain is hard to match or exceed in delightful villainy. Through the whole movie, I wondered what was Ultron's motive beyond destruction. The Vision, never one of my favorite Avengers in the comics, provided slight relief to an otherwise two dimensional picture.
That line of course stood out but I heard it more along the lines of atheist friends who assert there is no meaning beyond this world and so therefore we must find or create meaning or wonder here, in the moment, because that's all there is.
The challenge of these Avengers movies is of course that they have way too many characters and one-upping action always endangers character development, plot and good writing. It wasn't a bad film. It seems however that since we can't hold ourselves back if you've got a budget of over a hundred million it's increasingly difficult to make a good or great film with a big budget.
In Reply to email@example.com (comment #27130)
Interesting, Paul. I hadn't thought about the Avengers from an atheist perspective. I suppose it is sort of a natural fit - this is a hermetic universe in which much of the god-like powers can be explained away (the results of experiments gone wrong, evidence of human brilliance). Of course, there is also the matter of Thor, an alien who is considered a (lower-case) god. And other seemingly omnipotent figures we have yet to meet beyond teasing post-credit sequences... I guess it all shows how rich and malleable these superhero stories can be when it comes to seeing them as metaphors.
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